“Why are bridesmaid dresses so ugly?” – said every bridesmaid ever.
“Why are bridesmaid dresses so EXPENSIVE?” – said pretty much every bride ever. (Or whoever is responsible for purchasing the bridesmaid dresses. Here in the UK, they’re most often paid for by the bride, but in some other countries bridesmaids are expected to foot the bill for their own bridesmaid dress, making the search for cheap bridesmaid dresses even more important…)
Herein lies the problem: traditional bridesmaid dresses tend to be both ugly AND expensive. No one wants to wear one, and no one really wants to BUY one either. But cheap bridesmaid dresses sound… well, cheap, really. And probably nasty, too. Is there a way to find cheap bridesmaid dresses without making your friends hate you for forcing them to wear them? Yes, there is. First, though, here are a couple of things you need to know about bridesmaid dresses – cheap or otherwise…
Two things you need to know about cheap bridesmaid dresses…
01. You don’t have to buy your bridesmaid dresses in a bridal store
These days there are tons of cheap bridesmaid dresses out there which have the benefit of NOT actually being “bridesmaid” dresses. They’re just regular dresses, which can be used as bridesmaid dresses – and then worn again afterwards. This is one way to make sure your friends don’t hate you: by getting them cheap bridesmaid dresses they’ll want to wear AGAIN. They do exist, we promise.
02. They don’t all have to be identical
The tradition of a row of bridesmaids, all in identical dresses, is a little bit old-fashioned these days, and it’s perfectly OK to have bridesmaid dresses that are different lengths and styles. Actually, it could be a really good solution – not only will it give you a better chance of finding cheap bridesmaid dresses when you don’t have to make sure they’re all exactly the same, you’ll also be able to take account of your bridesmaids different body shapes and tastes. Bridesmaids don’t all look the same, so why should bridesmaid dresses all look the same? To create a cohesive look for your bridal party, all you really have to do is make sure the dresses are all the same colour. If you’ve got that down, the kindest thing to do is to allow your bridesmaids to choose the style of dress they feel most comfortable in. Because happy bridesmaids = beautiful bridesmaids, no matter what they’re wearing.
With that said, there are tons of options for cheap bridesmaid dresses right here on the UK high street. Here are a few of our favourites…
Cheap bridesmaid dresses on the UK high street
ASOS is a great source of cheap bridesmaid dresses. The ASOS Salon and ASOS Wedding collections predictably contain some of the more traditional (and also more pricey) dresses, but you’ll also find some cheap bridesmaid dresses in the main line collection: the pink dress above, for instance, is just £45, and could easily be worn again after the wedding.
Coast bridesmaid dresses
Coast is pretty synonymous with weddings, and Coast bridesmaid dresses can be spotted at weddings around the country. For this reason, a lot of wedding guests prefer to avoid Coast for their wedding guest attire (they’re scared of turning up wearing the same dress as the bridesmaids!), so if you’re choosing a Coast bridesmaid dress, it might be an idea to make that known to your female guests! These aren’t the cheapest bridesmaid dresses you’ll find, but they are some of the nicest:
Retro-inspired bridesmaid dresses
For the bride who loves the retro look, some of the retro-reproduction lines can be an excellent source of cheap bridesmaids dresses: these dresses aren’t designed for bridesmaids, but the full skirts and nipped-in bodices that are so characteristic of the 1950s style can also be appropriate for a wedding. The dress below, for instance, is by Lindybop, and is just £27.99 – you’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper bridesmaid dress than that!
Finding cheap bridesmaid dresses at the supermarket. (Yes, really...)
The supermarket is probably the last place you’d expect to pick up cheap wedding dresses, but supermarket brands like F&F, George and Tu at Sainsbury’s have really picked up their game in recent year, and yes, you can find cheap bridesmaid dresses nestled amongst the bread and milk. Well, OK, maybe not quite – they’ll be in the clothing section, obviously, but check out this £50 dress from F&F:
There are, of course, plenty of other places to find cheap bridesmaid dresses in the UK, and a quick Google search will throw up tons of sites dedicated to selling cheap dresses for bridesmaids. Before you go buying a bridesmaid dress that your friends will probably hate, and never want to wear again, though, our advice is to first of all take a look at the non-bridal stores you usually shop from: places like Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams etc, as well as the ones listed above. You might be surprised by what you find there…